Case details

Plaintiffs claimed neck injuries after truck crept into their lane





Result type

Not present

cervical, disc protrusion, fusion, neck
On Jan. 28, 2015, plaintiff Pablo Gonzalez, 63, a machinist, was driving west on Slauson Avenue, in South Los Angeles, with his wife, plaintiff Esther Gonzalez, 58, a homemaker, as a passenger. As their Chevrolet Cavalier turned right onto northbound Vermont Avenue, the lug nuts on a wheel of a city of Los Angeles asphalt truck hit the left, rear, quarter-panel of their car. Mr. and Ms. Gonzalez each claimed neck . The Gonzalezes sued the driver of the truck, Carolyn Davis, and Davis’ employer, the city of Los Angeles. The Gonzalezes alleged that Davis was negligent in the operation of the truck and that the city was liable for Davis’ actions while in the course and scope of her employment. The Gonzalezes claimed that as Davis was driving straight through the intersection in the lane next to them, she had crept into their lane and hit their vehicle. Davis claimed that Mr. Gonzalez made a wide right turn and was liable for the crash., Ms. Gonzalez was taken by ambulance to Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center, Centinela Campus, inInglewood, where she underwent a chest X-ray, which came back negative. Both Mr. and Ms. Gonzalez later underwent MRIs. Mr. Gonzalez claimed that he suffered an extruded cervical disc protrusion at the C6-7 level, requiring epidural injections and two months of physical therapy, twice a week. He ultimately underwent a one-level cervical fusion on his C6-7 vertebra in October 2015. Ms. Gonzalez claimed that she suffered soft tissue to her cervical spine. She also underwent epidural injections and two months of physical therapy, twice a week. The plaintiff’s treating orthopedic surgery expert opined that the Gonzalezes’ neck pain was causally related to the crash. The plaintiffs’ expert spinal surgeon testified that the Gonzalezes had degenerative in their necks, but opined that the crash caused those issues to be symptomatic. Thus, the Gonzalezes sought recovery of damages for their respective past and future pain and suffering, and past and future medical expenses. Defense counsel argued that the Gonzalezes’ neck were degenerative and not related to the crash. Counsel also contended that since both plaintiffs had made a complete recovery and stopped treatment within a few months of the accident, they were not entitled to damages. Defense counsel further noted that as of the time of trial, the Gonzalezes had not received treatment for 1.5 years.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

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